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Easter

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WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT....
LIFE AFTER DEATH?

All over the world during the Easter season, multitudes will gather in churches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hear about life after death. Many will suppress a yawn and attend their "yearly church service" to please their spouse. Others will attend out of curiosity; still others, because it makes them "feel good" to think about the cycle of life and new things growing out of death.

Pastors will wax eloquent before large crowds, families will don their finest clothes and the children will gather Easter eggs. Easter is a time of joy and promise as the first blades of grass begin to peek through the shroud of winter. In the pastel climate of spring, eternal life is a popular subject. Yet, how many people will really stop to think about how they can obtain eternal life? How many people will actually know the truth about how to receive it? How many will give their heart and lives to God so they may understand who Jesus Christ really was and who He still is? What does His death and resurrection actually mean to mankind?

A remnant of believers will celebrate Resurrection Day, knowing the real meaning of this season, but many more will simply be going through the tradition of a religious service. Religion cannot save anyone. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the Son of God can give us life after death.

In today's world, most people do not have a problem believing in the fact that the spirit is eternal. Even those who do not consider themselves "religious" often believe in some form of life after the grave. They just aren't sure what it is, and many do not want to know. Hell is an unfashionable topic. New Age teachings have settled in almost every facet of our society with vague, cozy feelings of the "afterlife."

We have read many documented accounts of people who have died in their physical bodies and have given testimony that they entered into a spiritual dimension beyond this life. Life did not cease for them. They then returned to their bodies to tell of their experiences. Some tell of seeing a "white light," others give descriptions of hell; still others see Jesus or angels. What awaits us on the other side? This will be determined by what we did in this life. Just because people report they saw a "white light" does not mean they will go to heaven when they die. Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." There is only one way any of us will go to heaven and it is through accepting Christ as our savior. This is the message of the cross. Jesus died so that we could live and have eternal life. It is not our works that will save us. We must repent of our sins and ask Jesus to come into our heart and change us. Then we shall live and not die. John 14:6: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Spirit, Soul and Body

In Daniel 12: 1-4, Daniel talks of the end of the age where it says, [color]"Many that sleep in the dust shall awake to everlasting life."[/color] This "sleep" is referring to the physical body sleeping, not the soul or spirit. Our spirit is the "real us." We are a spirit and have a soul (mind, will and emotions) that lives in a body. There is a cultic teaching that talks about "soul sleep" which is not scriptural. When people die, they do not enter into a state of eternal sleep, neither do they cease to exist. When we die, our body will go into the ground to decay and return to dust, but our body is not who we really are (Genesis 3:19). Our spirit, when we die, goes either to hell or to be with the Father in heaven. There is no in-between place, heavenly sleep or state of non-existence.

Many young people in our society have become morbidly preoccupied with the subject of death. "Punk" rockers are sending forth messages in their rock music that can cause some of them to receive demon spirits that drive these young people to commit suicide. They think by committing suicide they will escape living, believing that everything will end; but the Word of God clearly teaches that some go to everlasting life (heaven) or others to everlasting shame (hell). The body dies, but men's spirits live on in one of two states: with God or with the devil. Some evil rock music even encourages suicide as a "ticket to hell." These musicians don't even try to deceive the people as to where they will end up. The deception is, they believe the devil will reward them. The truth is that Satan will not reward anyone with anything good for serving him. These deluded people will suffer eternal torment in hell with the devil and his demons, forever separated from God and His goodness.

Yet the troublesome question still remains--why must we die in the first place? The truth is, God never made us to die. Death of the body was not God's original plan. It is the result of sin. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin (disobedience to God), sin entered into this world; as a result of it, every single one of us will face death at sometime. When we die, we will also face judgment before God. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The Bible speaks of death as an enemy. 1 Corinthians 15:26 says, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." In this world we are seeing death all around us: death by old age, disease, murder, suicide, accidents, disasters, famine and war. All of these have been brought on mankind because of sin and a fallen race. Death is an evil that produces torment, fear, hatred, suffering, agony, pain, grief and heartache. There is only one way that we can overcome both death and the fear of it; that is through the One who conquered death and the grave. The death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, has now made a way for us to also conquer death. Romans 8:37: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

Spiritual Death

Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Aside from death in the body, the Bible also speaks of another death--spiritual death (the second death). This is the death Jesus is referring to in the above verse, and it is ultimately the death that He came to deliver us from. This death is eternal separation from God. It extends beyond our mortal bodies. It does not mean ceasing to exist, rather it means that we will exist forever in our sinful state. Though hell is a literal place of torment, the main source of its torment is the eternal separation from God. This is far more ghastly than anything we can imagine, just as heaven is more wonderful than anything we can conceive. God never created hell for mankind. It was created as a fiery prison for Satan and the fallen angels (demons). Men are going there because they have chosen to follow the devil and have rejected Christ. Matthew 25:41: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

From the time we are born to when we die, we are given the chance to choose our own destiny. No one can choose it for us, least of all God. He created man with a free will that He will not violate. All He can do is set before us life (which is only found in the provision of Jesus' death on the cross), or death (which is found in rejection of Jesus). To choose the latter will in no uncertain terms lead to the second death.

The Cross

The emblem of the cross is seen all over the world in the display of church steeples and crucifixes worn around people's necks. However, many people do not know the real meaning of the symbolism of the cross and what it means to those who look to the event of Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection for their salvation. The cross is the greatest symbol of love that was ever shown to this world. It speaks of a perfectly innocent man, who was brutally tortured in the most scandalous of deaths, for a world that spit in His face. We are just as guilty of crucifying our Lord as the people who actually did it because we have sinned and it was for sin He was crucified.

Anyone who would call God unloving for "sending" people to hell, has never really understood the cross. We are the ones who chose to sin! Yet, God in His great mercy, made a glorious way out of the inevitable result of our sin for us. He took it upon Himself, and it cost Him more than we can imagine--His Beloved Son. God put all of the sins of the whole world upon Him and punished Him in our place. This is a profound mystery, but it is the central message of the gospel-- that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him wouldn't die in their sins, but could inherit eternal life through faith in Him (John 3:16). I Peter 2:24 says Jesus bore our sins in His body, not in His spirit. He is the eternal and sinless Holy Spirit. (Jesus did not die spiritually. The Scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:21 which says, "For he hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin..." means He was made to be a "sin offering" for us, not that He literally became sin.)

However, if that was all that took place, the story would have a very bitter ring to it indeed. Preaching just the death of Jesus is only half the message. The gospel (good news) is that Jesus is alive today!

What is the Significance of Jesus' Resurrection?

Jesus is the only man that ever came back to life from the grave. Every religion in the world outside of Christianity has a grave or tomb where their leader is buried. Only in the Bible is recorded the tomb that was found empty because Christ rose from the dead and is alive today!

Luke 24:1-7, " Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:

We often think of the cross as the end, but without the resurrection, we have no Christianity. It is the resurrection that makes the Christian religion different from any other religion. Some portray Jesus still on the cross, but He's not there any more; He's alive in His resurrected body! Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 15:16-23: "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."


The Resurrection of Christ Declared Four Things:

Acts 2:32-36 says Jesus is Lord and Christ because of the resurrection.

Romans 1:1-4 declared Him to be the Son of God with power.

Ephesians 1:19-23 says Jesus is the Head of the Church.

John 11:25 says He is the Resurrection and the Life.

Only one has ever been resurrected thus far, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus overcame the grave, this resurrection is now available to every one of His followers. It is not the same thing as being raised from the dead. This is an eternal resurrection. Some people, such as Lazarus (John 11), were raised from the dead but not resurrected (as they eventually died again). There have been many documented cases of people dying and coming back to life. Though this is glorious, the resurrection to eternal life with Christ is different; it is the final state of those who have trusted in Christ.

Revelation 1:18: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

Jesus spoke these words also in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Death of the body is not anything that the Christian should ever fear. If we are in Christ when our body dies, we will face an existence that will make our time on earth seem pale and shadowy. Some Christians will even escape death if they are alive at the second coming of Jesus to the earth. In that day, those that are alive will receive their glorified bodies right after the dead in Christ are raised and receive theirs. That day is approaching quickly and that is why the Lord is warning all of us to be ready. The hope of the church is the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57: "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed...and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?... 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Heavenly Bodies

What are some of the things that those who have been redeemed can expect to find in our next life?

Philippians 3:20-21 says Jesus will change our "vile"bodies. What will our glorified bodies look like when we get to heaven? We have some clues by noting the characteristics that Jesus' body had when He rose from the grave. Our glorified bodies will appear different. We will therefore recognize each other by the spirit. What we really look like on the inside will be apparent to all. Jesus' body could go through walls (John 20:26).It felt like ours; Thomas touched it (Luke 24:39-40). On the road to Emmaus, the disciples didn't recognize His new body and He vanished in front of them (Luke 24:13-32). Jesus even ate with His disciples. In our glorified bodies, we don't have to eat for sustenance, but we will be able to eat for pleasure (Luke 24:39-43; Matthew 26:29). It will have no pain, no sickness, no aging, no restrictions (with the power of translation), and be able to appear in different forms.

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg, of what God has prepared for those He loves. Surely there is nothing in this life that can hold a candle to the surpassing greatness of living in Christ--living in the very One who is the source of all life! How foolish we are to let the cares of this life, the god of unbelief, and the temporary pleasures of sin keep us from knowing Him.

Victory in the Cross

When we celebrate Resurrection Day (Easter), we acknowledge that we are sinners, saved by grace. The greatest truth of the cross is that when we accept Christ as our savior, a wonderful exchange takes place. Jesus died so we could live. We can now live in victory in this earth. As we identify with His death, we also identify with His life. Jesus became poor so we could become rich in His blessings. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says,"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." He took our sickness and infirmities so we could receive health. He took our curses so we might receive His blessings. He gave us peace for anxiety; love for hate; joy for sorrow; faith for fear; goodness for evil; temperance for lust and the list could go on. He took our hell and gave us heaven. We didn't deserve it but He did it for us because of His love for each of us!!

The Easter holiday is the most triumphant celebration of grace and life that we will ever experience on this earth! It is a celebration of God's goodness, love, and His awesome power. It holds the promise of not only eternal life to all who are willing to humbly receive it from Him; but also for a victorious life in this earth through the power of His Holy Spirit. We can spend eternity in our heavenly home with Jesus and all the saints of all the ages if we receive this wonderful gift of love!

Romans 10:9-13 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Proverbs 12:28: "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death."
 
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I wonder why do we call this Easter Sunday? I did not see the world Easter in the Bible. May I ask who is Easter?
 
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Article from gotquestions.org

The name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre) who was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. A festival called Eastre was held during the Spring equinox by these people to honor her. When second century Christian missionaries wanted the Saxons to accept Christianity, they decided to use the name Easter for this holiday so that it would match the name of the old Spring celebration. This made it more comfortable for those converts to accept Christianity and still retain some of their heritage. The goddess Eastres' earthly symbol was the rabbit, which was also known as a symbol of fertility. Originally, there were some very pagan (and sometimes utterly evil) practices that went along with the celebration. In our day, Easter is almost a completely commercialized holiday, with all the focus on Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, etc.

Because of the commercialization and pagan origins of Easter, many churches are starting to refer to it as Resurrection Day. This is a positive development. The more we focus on Christ the better. The resurrection of Christ is the central theme of Christianity. Paul says that without this, our faith is futile (1Cor 15:17). What more wonderful reason could we have to celebrate! What is important is the true reason behind our celebration, which is that Christ was resurrected from the dead, making it possible for us to have eternal life (Rom 6:4)! Should we celebrate "Easter" or allow our children to go on Easter eggs hunts? There is nothing essentially evil about painting eggs, hiding eggs, and having children search for them. Again, what is important is our focus. Is our focus on Christ, or the silly eggs? Do our children understand that the eggs are just a game? I suppose children could possibly participate in an Easter egg hunt as long as the true meaning of the day is explained and emphasized - but this must be left up to the discretion of parents and churches.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
 
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KJV

In the book "The Two Babylon's" by Hislop, he traces the Christian holidays, particularly Christ-mass and Easter back to pagan origins. Easter in some from (like Ishtar or Eostre) is the name in many languages of a pagan goddess worshiped on this day. Many of them had sons who died and rose from the dead.

When Romanism wanted to convert the heathen it simply converted their holidays into Christian festivals. There was some controversy with the British, Celtic church, the Orthodox and others over the correct date of this and other festivals.

If it was dated according to the Passover, worked out by a lunar calender, it would have to occur on a different day each year.

I for one do not observe these festivals as they are not biblical and any good reason given for celebrating them (evangelism ect) can be done at any other time.
 
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We parents must educate our children not to observe pagan practices maskerading as Christian practices. Although Easter egg hunt & other practices related to Easter are perceive to be "harmless" there is still danger because it is satanic in origin.
 
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watchman said:
We parents must educate our children not to observe pagan practices maskerading as Christian practices. Although Easter egg hunt & other practices related to Easter are perceive to be "harmless" there is still danger because it is satanic in origin.
I agree. I think the best thing to do is SIMPLY lean on the Word of GOD alone. No need to dispute nor debate whether some holidays are acceptable or not when all you need to do is celebrate life with Jesus EVERY DAY! This is what I believe is not only the walk with Christ, but like a daily holiday. To be alive with Him and Him alive in us all out of His grace only. What is everything else worth compared to our Living GOD alone? Just another day if you ask me. But a day taken gratefully with GOD is a special day.
 
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God’s Most Humble Poet & The King of Christma



GOD’S MOST HUMBLE POET


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I’m God’s most humble poet

Whose poems have meter and rhyme.

Stories of love, faith, hate, honor and duty,

Obedience, war, heroes, history and crime.



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I’ve performed my gift on T.V. and radio

Before millions I’ve never met.

Preached my praise of God and country

With 333 poems on the net.



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Satan’s soldiers, shepherds and bards

Spew forth their foulness, and grief.

They attack the joy and goodness of man

Dishonoring life, family, country and belief.



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Prospering through work, love and conviction

Enables us to remain, whole and how we should be.

Fortifying our soul with fulfillment of faith

Lets our worst tribulations be shouldered by Thee.



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Moses, Samson, David, Solomon and Jonah

All failed God in their own human way.

He chose to forgive them and bless their powers

So they might dwell in hearts of man today.



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Without God’s grace and glorious domain

There’s no doubt all would soon cease to survive.

Through purpose, morals and Christian conviction

We are able to transform and keep hope alive.

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THE KING OF CHRISTMAS



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The son of God came down to earth

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Born to a virgin in a stable He lie

Destine to lead, teach, suffer and die.



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Satan transformed from laughter to rage

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A never ending chance to redeem our soul

A new opportunity to achieve God’s goal.



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Evil doers hate the birth of God’s child

They love what is immoral, wicked and wild.

Degrading Christmas wherever they can

Jealous of the joy and rapture of man.



Hallelujah Jesus the king of Christmas night

With a star for his crown bathed in holy light

Christ is our savior who leads by trust and love

Delivering us from Satan to the grace of God Above.

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Thank you Chad, Blest Easter to You and Yours.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Matt 28:6

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. I Cor 15:17
 
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Great post Chad,

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus our Lord may seem foolish to some but it is the power of God.

God Bless, Trish
 
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Hi Chad, hope you & your family had a wonderful Easter, too.

I read the link about what Easter really is all about, thank you for sharing it us.

I liked it a lot, so I also shared it with my Church Members.

It's like you said, " The more we focus on Christ the better."
 
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the practice of baskets and eggs, Etc.

The thing that is wrong with these practices is that it is a diversion from the profound meaning of Christ's cruxifiction and resurrection. The children are taught to look forward to this day to recieve gifts and go on these excursions. The parents do this because the fear of disapointing their children overcomes the disire to give glory to God. Church and scripture reading are tolerated untill they can get to the stuff. The enemy is very subtile and decieving. If he can get the focus off God and his ..gift.. to us then he can more easily steal, kill and destroy from a christian family.
 
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Thank You Chad :
Blessed indeed is he who gives from the heart, and your heart is full for sharing this morning. Truth is , there are billions of words in the various vocabularies of this sin sick world. However for Christians to argue and vascilate over a "word" as the representation of the miracle that Our Saviour did for us, for the pleasure placed before him! This is absolutely ludicrous, by whatever name you may call it and what ever it's origin came from, there is no greater excpression of His Pure and never ending Love for a lost world, that His Death, burial, ressurection and accension unto the Father God. And I might add that the Father knows every thought and reason for mankinds talk, sayings, and postings!
God Bless
Jim
 
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Easter was originally an old pagan holiday in Europe and the Christians who originally settled in America began celebrating Christ's resurrection, but the name "Easter" is still used.
 
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Resurrection Day is the most important Christian holiday to me. It is the epitomy of promise. Christ is ALIVE !!

What a gift !! To know He loves us this much !!

LL
 
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Should A Christian Celebrate Easter?

This article was very interesting and set me to re-think all about easter and eggs and rabbits, I did away with buying eggs this year and for good too. It is all pagan in orgin. It does not please God.

Easter is recognized in modern Christianity as the day upon which the faithful celebrate Christ’s miraculous resurrection. Yet, in celebrating this event millions will turn to the familiar image of the biogenetic oddity known as the Easter Bunny without so much as asking, “What does an egg-laying rabbit have to do with Christ?” This article suggests perhaps it’s time YOU asked that question. Shocking as it may sound the truth is that Easter goes together with the true Christ just about as well as eggs do with rabbits.

A New Testament Easter?
Remarkably, the celebration of Easter, one of the most holy of Christian holidays, cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. In 1949 the Encyclopedia Britannica in its article on Easter stated the following regarding this day: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic fathers.”
Is it strange that this important Christian observance is not mentioned in the Bible?
Yes, indeed, it is.
To read more on the timing of Christ’s resurrection read our article “ 3 days and 3 Nights”.

If you find the word Easter in your Bible, it’s actually a mistranslation that is noted in your Bible’s margin. Most recent translations of the Bible make the correction. The correct translations use the word Passover instead of Easter. The early Christian church, established in 31 A.D., followed Christ’s example and observed the Passover. Again, the Encyclopedia Britannica states: “The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians who continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit…” (see Leviticus 23 for an explanation of those festivals).
Even if the early Church and the Apostles never observed Easter, many will argue that it is rooted in the Bible because they believe Christ
was resurrected on “Easter Sunday”. A close examination of the biblical account, however, shows that this was not the case. In
John 19:13 and 31 the Apostle John sets the record straight
as to the timing of Christ’s death by telling us that Christ died
and was buried at the end of the preparation day
preceding the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The preparation
day fell on a Wednesday that year. (Note: The reference to
Passover in verse 14 above is to the oncoming festival of
Unleavened Bread, which the Jews incorporated into the
“Passover period”.) Christ’s body was taken down and
placed in a tomb…BEFORE Thursday…the festival High Day…
began. For most of the next three days, Christ was in the grave…Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then, just before sunset (the time when days end and begin in the Bible) on the regular Sabbath (Saturday), Christ came out of his grave, His mission accomplished, having spent three days and three nights in the “heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40), just as He had foretold (Mark 9:31 and John 2:19-21).
The Easter myth of a Sunday resurrection collapses in light of these facts.

Where Does Easter Come From Anyway?
Now that we know the Easter tradition does not reveal the truth about Christ’s resurrection, perhaps we should uncover the truth of its origins.
To do so, it’s best to start with the name, Easter. Easter does have a religious meaning, but the religion is not Christianity. Instead, the word Easter is derived from an ancient Teutonic goddess of fertility named Estere whose feasts were celebrated in the spring by her pagan adherents. Typically, the Estere celebration occurred in April at which time the pagan goddess demanded sacrifices from her followers.
Going back even further into antiquity, Easter can also be traced to the ancient goddess Ishtar, and is associated with the deification of women goddesses in western religion up to and including the Catholic deification of Mary.
The pagan roots of Easter do not end with just the name, however. The symbols of rabbits and eggs can also be traced to pagan fertility celebrations. The use of the egg goes back to ancient Mesopotamia where it was closely identified with another goddess of fertility, Astarte. The following quote from the ancient Egyptian historian Hyginus explains the connection: “An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, hatched it, and out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess [that is, Astarte].” Some historians also claim that eggs were prominent in Egyptian temples and Druid springtime ceremonies. [Visit http://www.historytelevision.ca/archives/easter/customs/ for more about the Easter egg tradition.]
The Easter Bunny can also be traced back to the Teutonic pagan celebration of Estere or Astarte. It is in connection with this festival that the pagan adherents looked to the hare as a symbol of fertility because of its prolific nature. During this celebration eggs were believed to have come from the hare as a symbol of a new, abundant spring.
If you’re wondering what Teutonic fertility goddesses have to do with Christianity, you’re not alone. Biblically, there are no connections. Therefore the question remains: Why does Christianity celebrate Easter? To understand this part of the history of Easter, one has to examine the early developments in modern Christianity.
The Early Church.
The early Church, to a large extent, was made up of Jewish converts. The first disciples of Christ were, of course, Jews; and the early adherents often first heard the gospel message in the synagogues (Acts 9:20-21). The story of how the gospel came to the Gentile world is well-rehearsed, and figures prominently in the story of the Book of Acts. When the doors of the Church were first opened to Gentile converts, the early Church saw Christianity as being in harmony with the Old Testament. As such, the Old Testament holy days and the specific times at which they were observed were viewed as important and relevant to the “new” faith of Christianity. It wasn’t strange, therefore, that the early Church continued with the observance of Passover. It was not until later that the tradition of Easter developed among the Gentile converts.

Owing to a violent Jewish uprising crushed by Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D., the Roman Empire began to enact laws especially hostile to the Jewish faith. As part of his retaliation against the Jewish rebels, Jerusalem was almost destroyed, and also renamed. Hadrian’s edicts following the destruction of Jerusalem banned the practice of Judaism, including the observance of its holy days, and prohibited Jews from setting foot in Jerusalem. As a result of this attempted destruction of the Jewish nation, the hierarchy of the early Church was decimated. The leaders of the Church in Jerusalem, up until that time, had been Jewish: fifteen men recorded in all, spiritually descended from the original twelve apostles. Banning the Jews from Jerusalem and from Roman society in general led to a change in the entire nature of the church…the congregations were now led by Gentiles, and were composed of Gentile converts.
We’re Not Jews!
The Gentile, unlike the Jew, came from a religious culture steeped in mysticism and was ignorant of the Old Testament scriptures. One historian summed up the difference between the ancient Jew and Gentile as this: “Gentile Christians usually came from a background devoid of Scriptural knowledge. They did not have a natural appreciation for, allegiance to, or comprehension of the Scriptures, especially the Law and Prophets which they misunderstood….” Origen, a famous Church leader of the third century, would go so far as to say that Greek philosophy was just as important to the Gentile as the Law was to the Jew in their understanding of the gospel message. A contemporary of Origen’s observed the following regarding those who advocated this approach: “…. they forsake the holy Scriptures of God, and study geometry, as may be expected of men who are of the earth, and speak of the earth, and are ignorant of Him that cometh from above. Some of them industriously cultivate the Geometry of Euclid; Aristotle, and Theophrastus, and are looked up to with admiration…”. The Christian Church’s theological roots in the Old Testament were being severed during this period: the Jewish leadership, influence, and theological perspective were slowly eliminated.
Clearly, by the beginning of the second century various “Christian” sects had begun to fuse Christian practices with pagan observances. New church leaders had taken the place of the old and taught Christianity in the tradition of Greek philosophy. It was during this time (135 A.D.) that the observance of Easter Sunday began and was set on a day coinciding with a day of religious significance in the pagan world. Sunday was observed in Roman religious society as the day of the venerabili die Solis, or venerable Sun. This gave the evolving pseudo-Christian religion greater appeal to potential pagan converts. It was the natural progression of a church whose roots were becoming more firmly planted in pagan, Hellenistic traditions, as opposed to Old Testament tenets.

Subtle desire to distance Christianity from Judaism gave way to overt anti-Semitism upon the official establishment of Easter as an accepted Christian holiday. Constantine “The Great,” the first Roman Emperor to embrace “Christianity” officially recognized the observance of Easter as a national religious and civil holiday in 325 A.D. Constantine’s decision to establish Easter was motivated, not only by a desire to separate Christianity from the moorings of Jewish influence, but also out of his unapologetic hatred for the Jewish people. As one historian noted, “It was probably the Emperor’s passionate hatred of the Jews that decided the issue.” Quoting from a later letter issued by the Emperor, the point is emphasized in his own words: “It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. . . . Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd.”

The Quatrodecimen Some early church members¾the Quatrodecimen, so named for their adherence to the 14th of Nisan (Jewish calendar) as the correct day for Passover observance-¾resisted the adoption of the pagan Easter as a Christian day of worship. An early Christian Bishop, Polycarp, engaged in a famous debate with the then Bishop of Rome in defense of the apostolic and biblical tradition of keeping Passover. After Polycarp, another minister in Asia (Asia Minor) named Polycrates came to the defense of the Passover, and penned an eloquent defense of its observance, citing the history of believers back to the Apostles before him who had kept it:
“All of these kept the fourteenth day of the month as the beginning of the Pascal festival, in accordance with the Gospel, not deviating in the least by following the rule of the Faith. Last of all I too Polycrates, the least of you all, act according to the tradition of my family, some members of which I have actually followed; for seven of them were bishops and I am the eighth, and my family have always kept the day when the people put away the leaven. So I, my friends, after spending sixty-five years in the Lord’s service and conversing with Christians from all part of the world, and going carefully through all Holy Scripture, am not scared of threats. Better people than I have said: ‘We must obey God rather than men.”

After Polycrates, however, the proponents of Easter swallowed up most of what remained of the few adherents to the biblical tradition. Those who refused to convert were branded as heretics and had to flee persecution. They¾the Quatrodecimen¾were the remaining organized shreds of what had been the church established in Jerusalem in 31 A.D. The church that sprang forth under the protection of the Roman civil system observed different days and a different theology.

Does It Matter?
The history of Easter is mired in ancient pagan custom, political compromise, and, in some respects, racism. But that’s just it…It’s all history. Irrespective of what happened then, today the celebration is centered on Christ, right? And that makes celebrating Easter okay, doesn’t it?
Well, not according to the Apostle Paul, who when addressing the Corinthian church emphasized the importance of following the correct observance of the Passover: “I praise you Brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you” (I Corinthians 11:2, KJV). Speaking again of the tendency of some to waver from the teachings of the Church, Paul issued a warning against such behavior: “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us” (II Thessalonians 3:6, KJV).
Clearly, Paul admonished the church to remain faithful to the teachings he delivered to them from Christ, including the observance of the Passover. The Apostles had taught the true doctrines of Christ along with the deep meaning of those observances to their congregations. It is clear the Church’s drift from the observance of Passover to the celebration of Easter was in contravention of the Apostles’ instructions, and a breach of the long tradition of observing the Passover that was rooted in the book of Exodus.

In Matthew 7:21-23 Christ draws a line between those who follow Him and those who only profess a belief in Him: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)

This Spring, when much of the Christian world celebrates Easter on a day that was consecrated by men through political intrigue, religious compromise, and racism, one must simply ask: “Will Christ have anything to do with such a celebration?” Perhaps an even more important question is: “Will He have anything to do with those who celebrate it?” Here is His response: “…in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

Clearly, the answer to both questions is “NO”. The celebration of Easter, instead of Passover, is a matter taken seriously by Christ; and true Christians should take it seriously as well.To understand the observance true Christians are to follow.

I hope I've not broken any rules and regs Chad by pasting this onto here, I just thought it was so interesting I will be printing yours out to keep also.
Sorry if I've gone over the limitions here Chad, I mean't no harm honest.
 
Member
thankyou

Thanks to everyone for all their impute. The holy spirit has always led me away from these things and all this has made it clearer why.
You can't improve on God and his rightousnous. I think reading about the miracle of the resurrection and all the awesome things that took place on that day is good always.

Peace and Love always

abounding
 
Member
2 Corinthians 11:14-15

The thing that is wrong with these practices is that it is a diversion from the profound meaning of Christ's cruxifiction and resurrection. The children are taught to look forward to this day to recieve gifts and go on these excursions. The parents do this because the fear of disapointing their children overcomes the disire to give glory to God. Church and scripture reading are tolerated untill they can get to the stuff. The enemy is very subtile and decieving. If he can get the focus off God and his ..gift.. to us then he can more easily steal, kill and destroy from a christian family.
Your absolutly right, Sister.

What you're saying reminds me of 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.


2 Corinthians 11:14-15
14. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
 
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Member
All I see easter for now is the looking forward to chocolate easter eggs, bunny rabbits etc.
I see it more and more abounding, and less and less of Christ about it.
Though it was never a Christian period to begin with, the church adopted it and tried to make it point to Jesus, which hasn't worked, well in my opinion anyway.

So just once a year we remember the death and resurrection of our Saviour and Lord, no I don't think so, that's not what we are told according to the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 11 v 25
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
Very plainly put I'd say, wouldn't you agree bothers and sisters?

Not then once a year, and we are not told at what time of year, in fact only once in the bible is the word Easter mentioned, and it's no reference to the Lord's death and resurrection at all.
Acts 12 v 4
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

I may have already mentioned this scripture.

I did not celebrate Easter at all, if we want to name the Lord's death and resurrection as Easter, then that's every Sunday with me but it's the Lord's Table, and He did orchastrate it.

The world has the chocolate, we have the Saviour.
The chocolate gets eat and is gone, Jesus is always with us.

I made cards, one for each of my grown up kids, explaining there would be no eggs bought this year or ever again.
On the front of the card, it was written, The Empty Tomb
here's what it said inside.

Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection from the Dead
Has got nothing to do with Chocolate Easter Eggs

In my Bible, God’s word, there I don’t see
Any connection tween them and He.

So of the list they are going
Grandchildren, you will be knowing
Gran isn’t replacing Jesus
With Chocolate Easter Eggs

Just wanted to share with you what has been laid on my heart with regards to Easter.

But what about all the places that celebrate it? Other churches?
I know we are only responsible for our own actions, it just makes me wonder that's all.

I go to 2 differant places of worship, though I do not carry either denomination, I prefer to say I belong to the Church of God, built by Jesus Christ.
One of these churches I have to say I see adheres to biblical ways, no dedications, no Christmas tree, don't really mention Easter time, the other is a Mission Hall, they do all these, I only go to this one once a week, the gospel is not watered down, and is faithfully preached, but I do not hold with these things as they are mere traditions of man and not of God, the other is, The Gospel Hall and is my main church.
 
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